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Egypt imposes collective punishment at jail, says human rights watchdog

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“Workers removed the wall-mounted ventilators from each cell and the electric sockets that inmates used to heat water for drinking and showering,” Human Rights Watch mentioned.

A human rights watchdog on Thursday accused Egyptian authorities of constructing modifications to a infamous Cairo jail that quantity to “collective punishment” of inmates following an escape try that left 4 policemen lifeless.

Egyptian safety companies final month had building staff make modifications inside the utmost safety correction facility often called “Scorpion Prison” that deprive inmates of ample air flow, electrical energy and scorching water, in accordance with an announcement from New York-based Human Rights Watch.

“Workers removed the wall-mounted ventilators from each cell and the electric sockets that inmates used to heat water for drinking and showering,” HRW mentioned. It cited a tree-page letter and a 13-minute video that had been smuggled out of the jail.

Workers additionally changed the window bars in every cell with metal mesh and modified door slits in a manner that obstructs potential communication amongst prisoners, the assertion mentioned.

The group beforehand documented a number of abuses at the Scorpion Prison, together with a ban on household visits since March 2018 and 24-hour confinement to cells since early 2019. The facility holds round 800 prisoners, mentioned HRW.

Egyptian authorities are apparently imposing collective punishment on a whole lot of inmates in Scorpion Prison, after chopping them off from the world for nearly three years, mentioned Joe Stork, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at HRW.

Conditions on this jail are totally incompatible with the rights of prisoners. The modifications got here on the heels of clashes contained in the demise row ward that left 4 policemen and 4 inmates lifeless in September, the assertion mentioned. Egypt authorities have mentioned the 4 prisoners – all serving sentences on separate terror-related convictions – had been killed throughout an escape try.

However, HRW has alleged that the prisoners had been shot lifeless after they ambushed and fatally stabbed the guards throughout a routine inspection.

The escalation of harsh and abusive circumstances in Scorpion Prison comes on high of a years-long horrible scenario and makes this a torture facility by definition, Mr. Stork mentioned. Egypt ought to critically repair this place of horrors and be certain that inmates should not disadvantaged of their primary rights as prisoners.

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